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Jun 19, 2014 6:16 PM by Akeam Ashford

Washington's Mayor Wants Sheriff's Department To Take Over Patrols

Washington's police chief is angry after town Mayor Joseph Pitre proposed to have the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's department take over patrols in the town.

St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz attended a meeting Monday night, at the mayor's request, to discuss a possible takeover.

In the meeting, Guidroz said he could save the town $200,000 a year if his department steps in, but Police Chief Bruce Broussard said he doesn't need the Sheriff's help.

"I have respect for the Sheriff's position, but the Sheriff needs to understand that the town of Washington does have a chief of police, and we do have a police department," Broussard said.

Broussard is confused as to why Pitre wants to get rid of his department, and why the mayor hasn't discussed it with him.

"I would think he would want to come sit with me since I am the Chief of police here and tell me what's going on," Broussard said. "I think he is upset with me, but I wish he would understand that we are busy and working some serious cases that's taking up a lot of our time right now."

Broussard said he thinks Pitre is upset that his department has taken its focus away from patrolling Interstate 49. The town's most recent audit showed an overwhelming 71 percent of the town's revenue came from tickets written on Interstate 49.

Broussard said he doesn't send officers out along I-49 anymore because of a recent spike in crime inside the town.

We made an attempt to get answers from Mayor Pitre, but there was no answer at his home and our phone calls were not returned.

We turned to Guidroz to find out how this thought came about.

"Mayor Pitre called me last week and wanted to set up a meeting between me, the town attorney and himself here," Guidroz said. "He wanted to know if I'd take over the law enforcement duties of Washington; I said yes."

However, Guidroz said he won't play traffic cop to make money for the city.

"If Pitre is looking for someone to come in and write tickets to make money for the town, I'm not his guy. I'm not the man," Guidroz said.

Before any of this can happen, the mayor would have to put the item on the city council agenda.

From there, the voters would have to decide who they want to patrol.

 

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